Robinson Cano hits go-ahead HR and continues to up his value

Yankees' Robinson Cano watches his ground out in

Yankees' Robinson Cano watches his ground out in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles. (Sept. 11, 2013) (Credit: AP)

BALTIMORE - Robinson Cano continues to shy away from questions regarding his impending free agency. In last night's 5-4 victory over the Orioles, his bat once again made a pretty good case for a hefty payday.

With none out in the top of the ninth, Tommy Hunter, a righthander whose fastball tops out above 100 miles per hour, threw Cano an 0-and-1 changeup. Cano stayed back and planted it beyond the right-centerfield fence to break a 3-3 tie and give the Yankees a lead they would not relinquish.

"I know that's a guy who throws hard," Cano said. "I was just trying to use the whole field and get a good piece."

It was the second RBI of the game for Cano, who finished 2-for-4 and drove in Brett Gardner on a groundout in the first to score the game's first run.

The home run gave Cano 100 RBIs for the third time in his career and third time in the last four seasons.

"Everything in the game means a lot," Cano said. "Not only about 100 RBI, but we won the game with that home run. And that really meant a lot, to win this game."

Cano leads the Yankees in most offensive statistics including RBIs, home runs (27), batting average (.309), on-base percentage (.382) and slugging (.529). He's also just the fifth second baseman in MLB history with at least three seasons of 25 home runs and 100 RBIs.

Despite this, according to reports, when asked Tuesday by Bloomburg Television about Cano's impending free agency, Yankees team president Randy Levine said "Nobody is a re-sign at all costs."

Like Cano, manager Joe Girardi said that talk isn't a concern right now.

"I'm not worried about that and I'm sure he's not worried about that," Girardi said. "Whatever happens with Robbie I'm sure he's gonna have a pretty good deal when it's all said and done."

Contracts aside, Cano is the only Yankee infielder without serious questions regarding next season. Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira both will be coming off season-ending injuries and Alex Rodriguez is facing suspension.

"It's bad news for all of us," Cano said of Jeter's injury. "We know what kind of player he is and what kind of guy he is in the dugout . . . That's a guy we're gonna miss on the field."

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